The Ministry of Transport in Thailand has sought cooperation from Airbus, Triumph Aviation Services Asia, Triumph Structures (Thailand), and Senior Aerospace (Thailand) to launch four training courses, described as aircraft maintenance, aviation communication, aviation structural mechanics, and ground equipment maintenance, hoping to produce 350 skilled technicians on a yearly basis by 2021. The move is intended to support the expansion of U-Tapao Airport and the construction of an aircraft maintenance and repair center in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), and boost its aviation maintenance workforce and expand its MRO capabilities to cater to Asia’s aircraft boom. There are plans to build a new runway by 2021, a third terminal, MRO facilities, a free trade zone, a cargo zone, an aviation training center, and a high-speed rail system connecting Bangkok’s two airports: Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang.
In January 2019, Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thailand’s Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC) to jointly work on projects to develop and undertake maintenance training and pilot training courses. An existing collaboration between the two parties on basic maintenance training courses could be expanded to add extra maintenance courses and ‘ab initio’ flight training courses for pilots.
In June 2018, Airbus and state-owned Thai Airways inked an agreement to establish a new joint venture MRO facility worth USD 338 million, which will provide heavy maintenance and line services for all types of widebody aircraft, and also feature specialized repair shops and a maintenance training center. Also, Asia’s largest low-cost carrier, AirAsia, also wants to establish USD 50 million MRO facility at U-Tapao.
(Sources: AIN Online; Flight Global; Aerospace Technology)